When Mr Williams gave me the opportunity to pick a Learning Habit for this week’s reflection, I opened up my calendar straight away. When scanning through the six different habits, engagement stood out to me; it seemed to me that our idea of engagement provides the basis for all of our other Learning Habits.
It can be easy to see that without being engaged with what we are doing, we will never aspire to better ourselves. We will never reflect on where we have come from. We will never persevere through harder times.
However, what actually is our definition of engagement? According to the Learning Habits, engagement is working in partnership with others, demonstrating empathy as well as picking up what others do well and fulfilling roles required of us when in a team.
Here at the School, I know without a doubt that we, for the most part, are engaged with our learning and our teachers, but sometimes we struggle to engage with people we do not know so well.
I understand that it is easy for us to stay within the same group for the day. It is comfortable and safe; however, if we only engaged with the same people all the time, there will be no advancement in our knowledge, we will reach a ceiling and our understanding of the world becomes capped. So, I ask you, one break or lunch time this week, to visit a new society, talk to new people, and listen to new views.
This is where empathy, the idea of putting ourselves in somebody else’s shoes is so important when engaging with others. As Pocahontas says, “If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” There are countless examples of people in one field interacting with another and from the interaction, everybody coming out in a better place. For example, engaging with consumers and getting feedback on a new product is vital for the company developing it.
I believe Bill Nye the science guy is best placed to sum up the value of engagement, so I will leave you with his thoughts. He says, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”